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The Best Analyst Reports for Performance Management 2019

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

It seems every year there are more and more reports covering the business performance management space of budgeting, planning, forecasting, consolidation, reporting, and analytics. None of these reports (even the ones from BPM Partners) tell you everything you need to know to make the right purchase decision. However, they are useful as a starting point, a way to get educated and begin to identify your short list. As you would expect, some reports are more useful than others. It all depends on what you are looking for.  Let’s briefly look at each of the major reports and show you where you can get a free copy.

Available Reports

There are a number of reports available today that focus on various aspects of performance management. Here is a key to the major reports:

BARC Planning Survey – Presentation of survey results with analyst commentary for planning in general and 22 products in particular, from a European-based research firm. Also offers Business Intelligence focused reports.

BPM Partners Vendor Landscape Matrix – Analyst overviews, feature checkboxes, ‘best fit’ analysis, pricing, and customer satisfaction scores for 17 budgeting, planning, reporting, and consolidation vendors.

Dresner Advisory Wisdom of Crowds EPM Market Study – Presents survey results with a focus on enterprise planning and rankings of 13 vendors. Also offers similar reports focused on Business Intelligence.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud FP&A Solutions– Analyst review of strengths and cautions for 15 vendors. Similar report available for 10 Cloud Financial Close vendors.

Nucleus Research CPM Technology Value Matrix – Analyzes usability and functionality of 18 performance management vendors. Also offer ROI case studies.

While the reports listed above are typically updated on an annual basis, there are also several analyst reports that are either specialized one-shots or infrequently updated. They include Aberdeen – ROI of Sales Planning Analytics, Bloor – From Insight to Action, Forrester – Total Economic Impact, and IDC – MarketScape: Worldwide EPM Market.

Free Copies of Analyst Reports

Now that you have an idea of what reports are available, here is how to get your own copies of the ones that are most relevant to you, all at no cost.

BPM Partners offers a free subset of its Vendor Landscape Matrix report comparing two vendors of your choosing, available here: Vendor Snapshots

For all other analyst reports the links provided below will take you to each vendor’s PerformancePlace page on this site. The free report links for the listed analysts are in the ‘Industry View’ section of each page.

Axiom Software (Kaufman Hall) (Gartner), Board (BARC, Bloor, Dresner Advisory, IDC, Nucleus Research), CCH Tagetik (Wolters Kluwer) (BARC, Gartner), Host Analytics (Dresner Advisory, Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Nucleus Research), IBM (Aberdeen, BARC, Gartner), Jedox (BARC, Dresner, Gartner), Longview (BARC), OneStream (BARC, Dresner Advisory, Gartner, Nucleus Research), Oracle (Gartner), Prophix (BARC, Dresner Advisory), SAP (BARC, Gartner), Vena (Nucleus Research)

Note on free copies: As you’re well aware, nothing is ever totally free. In most cases the vendor you request the report from will probably follow up with some marketing outreach. It’s only fair since each of these reports would normally cost hundreds of dollars or more. Therefore, it makes sense to request the report from a vendor that you wouldn’t mind hearing from and potentially learning more about.

Performance Management’s Hot Streak

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Over the past 5 months the performance management market has seen significant interest and investment. Not just from customers, but from venture capital firms and other software companies looking to gain a foothold in this market. Here is a timeline of the major announcements:

October 2018 – Adaptive Insights is acquired by Workday

November 2018 – Anaplan goes public

December 2018 – Host Analytics is acquired by Vector Capital

January 2019 – Vena Solutions receives a $115 million investment from JMI Equity and Centana Growth Partners

February 2019 – OneStream Software receives a significant investment from KKR (rumored to be approximately $500 million)

Background

The performance management market hasn’t seen this much activity since 2007 when Cognos was acquired by IBM, Hyperion was acquired by Oracle, and OutlookSoft was acquired by SAP (they also acquired Business Objects which had just acquired Cartesis that same year). However, that series of acquisitions was focused on enabling the acquiring companies to replace their existing (and mediocre) performance management offerings with market-leading ones. In effect, it was a market consolidation since the smaller, independent vendors were absorbed into the larger vendors and the existing solutions they replaced were phased out.

What is happening today is the opposite of what happened in 2007: this round of activity is all about expanding the performance management market. All of the companies identified above continue to sell their product lines with varying degrees of independence, but with significant new capital behind them. The goal is to enable them to grow faster than they could have on their own.

What does this mean from a customer/prospect perspective?

The Good: All of these companies are now more viable than they were prior to this activity. Concerns about relatively small, independent vendors not being around for ongoing support are greatly reduced. New product development can be accelerated, support staffs increased. Of course sales and marketing investments will also increase creating a larger community of customers to be a part of. All of the investments will keep these vendors active and growing.

The (Potential) Bad: New owners/board members can take the vendor in a new direction that doesn’t align with existing customer needs. An influx of capital and rapid expansion can lead to distraction and unmanageable growth with leadership being stretched thin. Key team members can cash out and leave the company. There is also the risk that the remaining smaller performance management vendors are no longer able to compete with these vendors who are flush with cash. This can lead to some of them becoming niche players or disappearing entirely, unless they find their own suitors.

The net however is that it is a great time to be a performance management customer. This is a thriving, competitive market with a wide selection of proven solutions available for companies of all sizes. This new investment will help expand the footprint of performance management within companies as well as across the globe.

Learn More about these Vendors

Host Analytics to be Acquired by Vector Capital

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Note: Includes updated information (1/2/19)

Overview

Host Analytics has announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by Vector Capital,  a leading private equity firm specializing in transformational investments in established technology businesses. The deal has now officially closed. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Why This Deal?

Demand for performance management solutions is growing but at the same time the vendor landscape is undergoing significant changes. Adaptive Insights was acquired by Workday earlier this year, Anaplan has become a public company, the larger vendors are in the midst of a multi-year transition from their legacy on premise solutions to brand new cloud offerings. Vendors that had been targeting the midmarket are looking to move upstream. Even long established performance management implementation firms such as TopDown Consulting and Edgewater Ranzal are being acquired. There is an opportunity here to take advantage of the uncertainty all of  these changes create, particularly in the $ 250 million to $ 2 billion slice of the market.

What’s needed to fully exploit this opening? A capable management team, a competitive product set, and deep pockets. Host Analytics already has the right team and product, Vector Capital brings the deep pockets (as well as operational resources and expertise).

Working with a company like Vector Capital has unique benefits and avoids the pitfalls of merging with a larger software company. Let’s start with the pitfalls. Whenever two software companies merge there are a number of inherent challenges – overlap in management, overlap in products, years of product integration work. The management overlap often leads to key team member departures, the product overlap leads to some products being killed or refocused, and the years of integration work often detract from product innovation and expansion of functionality. All of this negatively impacts sales, customer satisfaction, and morale. A key benefit of a venture firm owner is the enhanced ability to find and acquire complementary solutions. The acquisition of performance management vendor Longview Solutions by Marlin Equity several years back illustrates this fairly well. Soon after their acquisition by Marlin, Longview acquired arcplan for BI/analytics and Tidemark for cloud-based planning. Host Analytics may now be able to accelerate its ability to deliver on its vision for the Office of the CFO.

Why Now?

While the timing of this deal certainly reflects the desire to take advantage of  the opportunity in the market today, I’m sure there are other motivations as well. Perhaps some of the original investors/board members are ready for a change. This is a straightforward way to enable them to cash out and pursue other challenges. Board member rotation also benefits Host Analytics with new ideas being brought to the table. It is worth noting though that the largest shareholder, StarVest Partners, will remain a significant investor.

Final Thoughts

In spite of this deal, Host Analytics remains a picture of stability in a rapidly changing market. It will continue to be run as an independent business. Dave Kellogg, long-term CEO at Host, is being replaced on an interim basis by the current Chief Revenue Officer, and the interim CFO role will be filled by a Vector Capital VP. There are no other announced or anticipated management changes at this time. Host is following its existing product roadmap and continuing to roll out new updates and partnerships. Of course we need to see how this all plays out once the transition is complete, but on the surface it seems like a good deal for all concerned.

More about Host Analytics

Adaptive Insights to be Acquired by Workday

Craig Schiff , President and CEO, BPM Partners

Overview

Adaptive Insights announced that they have a reached an agreement to be acquired by Workday. The deal is expected to close in October of this year. Let’s take a look at what this means for the companies involved, their customers and prospects, and the performance management industry in general.

The price that Workday is paying of $ 1.55 billion is one of the highest ever for a performance management vendor. It is a significant multiple of Adaptive Insights’ trailing 12 -month revenues of  $ 114 million. This valuation is both indicative of the growing importance of performance management solutions (which was also confirmed by our 2018 BPM Pulse Survey) and the strategic importance of this acquisition to Workday to strengthen their product portfolio.

Products

Adaptive Insights (for Finance) has been one of the more successful standalone performance management products with almost 4,000 customers worldwide. Just this past year they introduced a product aimed at sales planning: Adaptive Insights for Sales, and launched their Elastic Hypercube technology to better handle the volumes of data and complexities in larger companies. They had recently filed for an IPO. It is clear why they were a prime target for a vendor looking for an established, robust planning solution to acquire.

Why was Workday looking for a new planning solution? They recognized a while ago that performance management was a key missing ingredient from their financial and human capital management solutions. So, they did what many others have done – built their own. However, just like SAP, Oracle, and IBM before them, they realized  their homegrown solution was years behind the market leading solutions and would take significant time and money to catch up. While they partnered with several of the stand alone performance management vendors, their vision of an all-in-one business management solution was not coming to fruition.

Strategy

With Adaptive Insights looking to raise capital through an IPO the timing was right for Workday to swoop in and acquire an ideal solution for the planning needs of their customers. There is redundancy and overlap with the existing Workday Planning solution, but they have a strategy to address that. The existing solution will be focused on the HR/human capital management side of the equation and Adaptive Insights will play to its strength in financial management. The current Workday sales force will introduce the Adaptive Insights product set into up market opportunities. The current Adaptive Insights sales force will focus on the rest of the market. The Workday and Adaptive Insights products will be “‘integrated” over time at a UI/common look and feel level, meta data, data, and security levels.

Final Thoughts

At this early stage there are many things that are not clear. Will Workday focus its efforts on selling Adaptive Insights to its existing customers and to new accounts that are looking to purchase their full suite, or will they also actively compete in the open market for standalone planning deals? I would guess it would be the former, but we just don’t know. With Workday’s historic focus on the large/enterprise market where will the midmarket fit into their overall strategy going forward? Only time will tell.

For now, there are some clear winners: Workday – for filling an important gap in their offerings with a well-regarded solution, Adaptive Insights – for becoming part of a larger organization with greater resources at its disposal and a mostly complementary product set, as well as achieving an impressive valuation, Workday customers – for having a robust new performance management solution available to them, although they need to keep an eye on integration status, Adaptive Insights competitors – for the potential to take advantage of this period of change and uncertainty, and the performance management industry in general for confirmation of its growing importance and value.  In addition, we’re confident that Adaptive Insights customers will be well taken care of, based on our direct experience with Adaptive  since its launch 15 years ago, and confirmed by their consistent high marks in our annual  BPM Pulse customer satisfaction survey.